Book: Round Trip

What if you were pursued through the mountains by killers and tracked by dogs? Could you outrun them? Could you outwit them? Could you turn and defeat them? Many a young man has had the flight of fancy of an extreme survival adventure. Author Stephen Ore brings this scenario to life in Round Trip (Raven Publishing, $14), set in the Tobacco Root Mountains of southwest Montana. The lead character, 17-year-old Matt Lewis, inadvertently stumbles upon evidence that the wealthy rancher he works for is actually a drug dealer, knowledge that puts Matt’s life in jeopardy. Although dubious about the book from the opening chapter, the more I read, the more captivating the story became, with later chapters being riveting—to the point that I couldn’t put it down. The story is personal for me, being set in the local communities of Pony and Harrison, with Lewis tromping through the same mountains and forests I grew up in. We’ve heard rumors of shady drug dealers setting up shop here, and we’ve had those mysterious out-of-state millionaires with big ranches drop in from time to time via airplane. Who knows where their money really comes from?